We’re on board Carnival Liberty all this week reporting on the implementation of Carnival Cruise Line’s new Funship 2.0 initiative, a $500 million project that promised to transform the line’s onboard experience when it was announced in October.
Dining has always been and probably will forever be a big attraction of the whole cruise ship experience. These days though, what cruise lines offer is far from the 70’s Vegas-style never-ending buffet and a boatload of frenzied eaters putting on the feed bag for a week. Today’s cruise ships have taken dining to an entirely different level, offering a wide variety of venues in what appears to be a race between lines to win over an evolving cruise passenger. Some lines have gone even further, transforming “dinner” into an evening experience that can begin before entering the dining room.
On Carnival Cruise Line’s newly transformed Carnival Liberty, the first ship in the fleet to receive the line’s new signature Funship 2.0 initiative, the evening experience might start at the Alchemy Bar. Described “as novel bar concept that combines a vintage pharmacy theme with highly memorable and eclectic drink concoctions” by the line, this space on the ship’s main-drag Promenade deck is a handy walk away from dining and offers a great place for pre-dinner cocktails.
Alchemy Bar’s selection of custom cocktails are found on a unique bi-fold menu that lights up when opened and are sorted in sections like “Mood Enhancers” that feature an “Invigorating Mint Martini” and “Forty is the New Twenty.” In the Fountain of Youth category (I asked them to make it a double and just pour it on my face), the “The Quick Fix” is popular and a “Restorative Basil Drop” within the Relief for What Ails section. A tasting mat featuring a selection of eight martinis also is available for guests who want to sample Alchemy Bar specialties.
Behind the bar, the well-trained lab-coat wearing “mixologists” will even custom design a concoction based on selections guests make on a prescription pad, choosing from a variety of spirits, fruits and herbs.
It’s a martini bar to be sure so the choices are virtually unlimited. But while standard fare martinis can be found, the whole premise of the Alchemy Bar promotes trying something different, stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and falling right into the groove Carnival wants guests in: Creating an unforgettable vacation.
On this ship or others in the future that will get the Funship 2.0 transformation, go early. The place fill up fast and half the fun is watching and interacting with other guests, also trying to figure out just exactly what is going on there.
- Cruise line guests evolve along with onboard programming (chriscruises.net)
- New cruise line programming builds on and respects past, looks forward (chriscruises.net)
- Carnival Funship 2.0 preview (chriscruises.net)
- Carnival Funship 2.0 makes Carnival Liberty a whole new ship (chriscruises.net)
- Tonight’s Cruise Video: FunShip 2.0 EA Sports Bar (chriscruises.net)